Dogs, Cats, Guinea Pigs All Need a Home

Santa Barbara Animal Shelters Waive Some Fees to Encourage Adoption of Pets

Credit: Courtesy

To prep for some rooftop construction that needs to get underway while the weather is good, the Santa Barbara County animal shelters are temporarily waiving adoption and reclaiming fees for all the creatures in the shelters in Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc.

“We have old dogs, young dogs, big dogs, small dogs,” said Sarah Aguilar, who heads shelter services for the county. “Cats, guinea pigs, roosters,” she went on, “and last week, we had a cockatoo and Japanese quail. There’s just a huge variety of pets who all need a home.”

The fee waivers are an adoption incentive as the Santa Maria shelter will be upgrading its air system from swamp coolers to heating and air conditioning units, which Aguilar said will make the interior more comfortable for all the animals. The work will go on over the heads of medium- to larger-sized dogs in 35 kennels, but if the three shelters can all open up spaces, more animals can move from Santa Maria and avoid the stress of the construction work.

“Any opportunity to place a pet in a home is always better than being in a kennel,” Aguilar said. This includes older dogs, she said, which are harder to adopt out, even though they have much fewer needs than a puppy. “It’s a little tougher for an older dog in a shelter environment, where they don’t get as much comfort from their aches and pains as they would from being on a couch, for instance,” she said. The shelter even has some animals with terminal illnesses but still enjoying life: “We don’t know how much longer they have, but it would be amazing for them to be able to live out their life in a home.”

The county shelters have waived the adoption and reclaiming fees — and are asking for more foster homes for the animals, too — through the end of October. Animals available for adoption or fostering can be seen at the Animal Services website, which also has information on the adoption and matching process.

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